The Most Common Chord Progression

One of the best ways to learn how to play the piano is by discovering the common progressions. That is, there are progressions (movement from one chord to another) that you see ALL THE TIME in songs. Okay let's back up a bit.

Let's say we are in the key of C. There is a scale that goes with that key which is made up of 8 tones. Those tones are CDEFGABC. Now, each one of those notes has a chord that is built on it. The C note becomes a C chord and is called the I chord because it is the first note of the scale and it is usually a major chord. The second note of the scale is D and the chord built on this is usually a minor chord. This is called the ii chord. The fifth note of the scale is the G and this is called the V chord. It is usually a major chord.

The ii-V-I chords are commonly found together and in that order. Now if you are in a key other than C, you can discover what the ii-V-I progression is in that particular key. To do this, you need to know the scale of the key you are in. Then find what the I chord, the ii and the V chords are, which the notes of the scale will tell you.

So let's take the key of D. How do we figure out what the ii-V-I chords would be? Well, the scale of D is as follows - DEF#GABC#D.The first note in the scale is D so the I chord is D Major. The second note of the scale is E so the ii chord would be E minor. The fifth note of the scale is A so the V chord would be A major. See how this works?

So if you practice the ii-V-I chord progressions in all 12 keys around the circle of fifths, you will learn your songs much faster. Why? Because you see this progression so much in all of music (including classical!).

So practice those chords. And to get some serious help learning your chords, check out CHORDS TO GO, a great CD that will really teach and drill you on all of the major, minor, seventh and minor seventh chords. Click on link and scroll down.
Chords To Go